“We’re not stopping, let’s make that clear – we’re focusing on programs, more determined than ever,” said Program Director Jessica Matthews in a press release. “Giving up an office for a while – that’s the right thing to do.”

Due to difficulty in fundraising, the non profit Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center has decided to close their physical office in order to save money and put those funds toward continuing their mission.

The closure is temporary, said MSBEC board president Richard Lucas. “In the spring, with everyone’s support, we’ll open where we have more direct interaction with locals and visitors.”

The current office, located at 101 E. Alma Street, will close Sept. 30 and MSBEC staff will temporarily work from their homes and elsewhere.

“We’re not stopping, let’s make that clear – we’re focusing on programs, more determined than ever,” said Program Director Jessica Matthews in a press release. “Giving up an office for a while – that’s the right thing to do.”

Matthews said the temporary closure gives MSBEC “a chance to strengthen our ties with the local community and people everywhere. What we do together at this crossroads makes a crucial difference.”

MSBEC supports a small, part time staff through a combination of community funding, grants, and the generosity of a few larger donors, the release states. Fundraising for the nonprofit organization has been challenging, the release added.

“The mountain needs our protection,” said MSBEC board member Andy Fusso. “Resource extraction corporations spend huge amounts here on misinformation and intimidation – and the city of Weed couldn’t afford legal costs to protect its water rights. County government spent $2.4 million losing frivolous anti-environmental lawsuits – actually arguing it shouldn’t have to consider the public trust, when issuing well permits. When these things happen, it’s the citizens who suffer; the Ecology Center’s work helps both the environment and the economy.”

MSBEC founder Michelle Berditschevsky still actively works on a 22 year-long campaign opposing plans for geothermal fracking near Medicine Lake, and to secure longer-term protection for aquifers which provide pristine water downstream throughout California.

MSBEC was founded in 1988.

“It’s true we are strong advocates, guided by sound science and values,” Fusso said. “Yet it’s also important we can engage and educate in a positive way.

Over the past two years, MSBEC launched a new community fire program, efforts to enhance and restore pollinator habitat, and prepared educational presentations for schools and the general public.

“I’d rather be creating positive experiences, for a thriving sustainable community and landscape, heading to the future,” said Matthews. “We really do accomplish a lot, and it’s time to do more. We have to engage younger people and families, plus everyone coming to Mount Shasta for recreation and inspiration. Everyone is invited to join us.”

For more information on how to donate and help, please see the website, mountshastaecology.org.